The Haunted

Woohoo. The rotting festered corpse of thrash metal has been resurrected, come back to Haunt modern metal. Or some cliched thing like that. But it has with this debut offering from Swedes The Haunted. You could almost take a trip back to the mid to late 80s on this one. Major dashes of Slayer, some of the Metallica Master Of Puppets era guitar tone and out of the mincer comes the Haunted. And there’s nothing wrong with that at all in my opinion. Of course popular modern opinion means that this will be probably be ridiculed by many. There’s no detuned Korn guitars in here. There’s discordant guitar solos, none of these new fangled fancy guitar squeals and songs of murder of blood. Undead. There’s hyper speed double bass drumming, and no hint of techno to give it any sort of “credibility”. And I doubt they wear Adidas or Puma.

Yep, I really do like this one.

The unfortunate thing for me is that I do think of Reign in Blood era Slayer, and well no-one is going to top that album. Not even Slayer themselves. Many said that Thrash died, it stagnated and just wasn’t able to progress any further down its chosen path. So does this remedy that problem. Nope. But that’s assuming there was a problem in the first place. This is simply a straight ahead thrash album. No pretence. You don’t need any. Good music, music which hasn’t been heard for a few years now. How many KornToneLimps clones do we need at the moment. And how many of them are actually doing anything significantly different in their chosen field? New metal is simply the thrash of the 90s. It’ll stagnate and die as well. And in 5 or 10 years time, someone will come along and release and album which will excite the current fans. It happens. Music goes round in cycles dictated by the trends of the time set by the media and the labels. Doesn’t make stuff any less credible though just because it doesn’t fit into the right timewarp.

Just relax, and enjoy the delights on offer. Enjoy the fact that music isn’t actually fashion. Some people hated the 80s because that’s what they thought it was then. But it’s equally so today. Maybe more so. Even though some people don’t want to admit that. This is an album which takes it back to what it ultimately is all about. The Music. And you can’t fault them for that.

So, if you’re a little sick of the current round of metal punk wannabies, or just curious as to what this thrash lark was all about, pick this one up and have a listen. And if you fall into the latter category, while you’re at it, pick up Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Anthrax’ Among the Living or Spreading The Disease, Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion, absolutely any, and preferrably ALL the Voivod albums, Exodus Bonded in Blood. Here endeth the Thrash history lesson.